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OK chicken ladies - lets chat!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote moonangel12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: OK chicken ladies - lets chat!
    Posted: 03 Mar 2012 at 2:09am
I was hoping to sum up a few of the random threads we have going with a general info/chat one to gather all kinds of great information into one spot (aka I know I have read some good things, but I can't remember where to find them! LOL Plus I'm just nosy about what others have already and are planning for the future Tongue).

Just some general questions I thought might be fun to answer... if you have any others let me know and I can add them to the OP if you want!

Do you currently have chickens?
How many?
What kinds?
How long have you had them?
Plans for any more?
Would you get those breeds again?
What kind of coop do you have?
What does it look like? (Pics are always fun!)
Why did you get them and how do they fit into your lifestyle (not sure how to word it - do you have a small farm/homestead already established, are you working towards that and chickens are the starting point, were they just for a fun hobby, etc.)?

Edited b/c of a double question... oops.





Edited by moonangel12 - 03 Mar 2012 at 2:26am

Renee
Wife to KJC ~ 6/25/05
SAHM to JJC (ODS) ~ 8/06/07, MEC (ODD) ~ 5/06/09, LGC (YDD) ~ 4/14/11, DAC (YDS) ~ 12/31/12!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stegmanjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2012 at 2:22am
Well I can't answer most of your questions since we don't have any yet, but here are my plans; we pick them up April 6th:
What kinds? Hoping for 10 total: 3 Rhode Island Red, 3 Americauna, 2 Buff Orpington, 2 Black Australorp
How long have you had them? They'll be about 3 day old chicks
Plans for any more? 12 will be our max I think, but we'll have to see how full grown birds fit into our 5x7 shed/coop
Would you get those breeds again? Don't know.
What kind of coop do you have? We are getting a shed on wheels. It's fully vented and has a full size door on one side and 2 chicken hatches, and nesting boxes built in.
What does it look like? (Pics are always fun!)
Plans for any more?
Why did you get them and how do they fit into your lifestyle (not sure how to word it - do you have a small farm/homestead already established, are you working towards that and chickens are the starting point, were they just for a fun hobby, etc.)?
  We are getting chickens because we eat 5 dozen eggs a week! This should start saving us approximately $20/mo (actually more, because our chickens will produce organic eggs which we don't currently buy because of cost). Also, we love the idea of being more self sustaining. Lawfully, we can't have more than 3 birds, but we'll be fudging that. Hope to someday get other animals but we could never get away with anything besides the chickens on our current half acre with current county statutes.

Daughter of the Living God, Wife to my hard working hubby, Home Schooling Mama to John (7/06), Jeanine (8/08), and William (4/10)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moonangel12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2012 at 2:26am
Do you currently have chickens? Yes

How many? 10

What kinds? Rhode Island Reds (2), Black Sex Links (3), Golden Comets (5)

How long have you had them? RIRs and BSLs 3 years, GCs 1 year

Plans for any more? Yes! The GCs will be going to a new home (I have 3 people interested in them Confused), and Monday (3/5) I'm going to pick up 8 RIR pullets for the beginnings of what I hope to be a heritage flock... I'm going to get a few straight run in hopes of a couple roosters to choose one from - then we can eat the rest Tongue. I figure it'll be easier to do if they're mean.

Would you get those breeds again? The RIRs have been my faves. They tend to keep to themselves, are fairly laid back, and have been pretty consistent layers. The BSLs have been OK. A bit more broody at times, have a harder time getting back to laying after a broody spell or molt, and seem to be more of a dominant bird with the rest of the flock. The GCs are friendly to a fault. They hop in vehicles, try to come in the house, will steal food out of the kids hands, etc. They also don't seem to be as... pretty? of a bird. Their feathers seem a bit scraggly for some reason, even after a mini molt (maybe they just haven't filled back out yet?) and their egg laying has been pretty inconsistent. It looks like they are starting to pick back up though so we'll see how it goes.

What kind of coop do you have? One is an old shed we converted to a coop (my valentines day gift in 09). We were going to clean it up and move it until I discovered a swarm of termites one day when I accidentally hit the side of it with something. The other is a hoop house we built that I haven't been too thrilled with. Doesn't seem secure at all, and isn't as portable as I had hoped. I thought it would be plenty big enough but seems small for the 5 GCs. We're going to build another one for the new RIRs in the tree line between our house and the pasture using pallets from DH's work. Then we're hoping to finish it off with extra siding from the house and a metal roof to match. Should look really nice when we're done.

What does it look like? (Pics are always fun!) The first two look redneck - that's the best way to put it LOL. The third is just an image in my head right now, but I hope it'll look nice when finished.

Why did you get them and how do they fit into your lifestyle (not sure how to word it - do you have a small farm/homestead already established, are you working towards that and chickens are the starting point, were they just for a fun hobby, etc.)? We want to work toward self sustainability and eventually have a small farm on our 2 acre lot (unless we can acquire more land from DH's gpa to expand that dream a bit). The chickens seemed like a logical first step and we have really enjoyed them!



Edited by moonangel12 - 03 Mar 2012 at 2:29am

Renee
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Post Options Post Options   Quote erinchelsea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2012 at 4:04pm

Do you currently have chickens? We currently have 17 brown egg laying hens that are 1 year old.
 
How many? oops, already answered that!
 
What kinds? 2 turkens, 1 Partridge Rock, 3 Dark Cornish, 1 Jersey Giant, 1 White Wyandotte, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, and the remainder are Light Brahmas and Columbian Wyandottes. We also raised 50 Cornish Rock X for meat last year, butchered at 8 weeks.
 
How long have you had them? 1 yr.
Plans for any more? YES, will be getting 75 more meat birds in May, but we are trying different breeds. We have ordered 25 CRX, 25 "Red Rangers" and 25 "Black Broilers". The latter 2 varieties are supposed to be better at free ranging for some food, slightly slower growth.
 
Also, we are getting 12 White Rocks, and will butcher the males for meat and keep the females for eggs, and 13 Black Australorp females for eggs.

Would you get those breeds again? I like all the breeds we have for different reasons, I would get them again but we are going to be trying new breeds in the future.
What kind of coop do you have? We converted part of an old cattle shed into the coop. It is large, cement floor, and has 2 pens in it so we can separate birds if we need to. We'll be using the second half of it to brood the chicks. The meat birds will go outside in tractors when they are 3 weeks old. The future egg layers will get integrated in with the big girls around 12 weeks, I think. We have an attached run but have plans to expand it this year, with separate pens for each side of the coop.

What does it look like? (Pics are always fun!) I would love to post pics but I lost my camera!

Why did you get them and how do they fit into your lifestyle (not sure how to word it - do you have a small farm/homestead already established, are you working towards that and chickens are the starting point, were they just for a fun hobby, etc.)?
We love to be self sustaining and the only way to insure you are getting quality food that is raised humanely is to do it yourself. I think the way commercial chickens are raised is very cruel. Our chickens are our food source but they are also fun for us and we make sure they have a happy life for as long as they live it! Also we want to teach self-sufficiency skills to our children.
Erin, happy wife of Jason (7/21/07) and mama to Abram (3/09) and Adrie (6/11)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mommy2five0406070911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2012 at 8:42pm
Do you currently have chickens? I do not currently have chickens but they are OTW the week of May 7th from Murray McMurray Hatchery.  I had them as a kid growing up.
How many? 52 Chickens and 10 ducks are coming
What kinds? 5 Black Australorps, 5 Buff Orpingtons, 5 Barred Rocks, 5 Speckled Sussex, 5 Rhode Island Reds with 1 free rare chick and then 2nd order is 5 Columbian Wyandottes, 5 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Buff Orpington roosters, 3 White Rocks, 5 Light Brahmas, 5 Partridge Rocks and 1 more free rare chick. Oh and I have 5 Buff ducks and 5 Rouen ducks coming too. 
How long have you had them? NA
Plans for any more? My plan for this year is to see what breeds I like then brood my own eventually
Would you get those breeds again? NA
What kind of coop do you have? My pictures for my coop are in the coop progress post
What does it look like? (Pics are always fun!) above
Why did you get them and how do they fit into your lifestyle (not sure how to word it - do you have a small farm/homestead already established, are you working towards that and chickens are the starting point, were they just for a fun hobby, etc.)? I am trying to slowly put my childhood home back to a small working farm again and this is my start to all of that.  As a child I remember all the animals and how much fun I had more than anything else from my childhood and I want my children to experience that too.  Along with getting fresh eggs and meat for the winter.

Jenn wife to Jamie 5/05 & Mommy of Kai (8),Zay (6),Liv(4),Brady (3),Max (9 months)& 2 dogs and 7 puppies, 5 bunnies, 48 chickens, and 16 ducks!   to,488px)div
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Post Options Post Options   Quote horseymama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2012 at 9:25pm
Do you currently have chickens? Our chicks are shipping May 7 from Meyers! Our close friends have had chickens for 2 years and we've wanted some for a long time, 
happy to finally be getting them!
How many? Starting with 4 this year, hoping to add more eventually
What kinds? 2 Black Australorps, 1 Ameracauna, 1 Barred Rock
How long have you had them? N/A
Plans for any more? Hopefully! I'd love to continue trying different breeds each year and gradually grow our flock. DH wants to start small though, which will be good for now.
Would you get those breeds again? Don't know yet, hoping we'll love them!
What kind of coop do you have? None yet, I think DH is going to build us an A-frame tractor with scrap materials. Eventually I'd love to convert an old shed on our property into a coop.
What does it look like? (Pics are always fun!) I'll definitely post pics when it's done!
Why did you get them and how do they fit into your lifestyle (not sure how to word it - do you have a small farm/homestead already established, are you working towards that 
and chickens are the starting point, were they just for a fun hobby, etc.)? Some day our dream is to have our own mini ranch with beef cows, chickens, our horses, etc. We are 
big on self-sufficiency and want to slowly move towards producing as much of our own food as possible. Also, I think DD will really love the chickens and I think animals in general 
are such a great way to teach kids about responsibility. We also just really love the taste of fresh eggs! And I think the way commercial chickens are treated is horrible. So, 
we have lots of reasons!


Edited by horseymama - 03 Mar 2012 at 9:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote horseymama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2012 at 9:27pm
Hmm, not sure why my post is all funky like that. Tongue Sorry!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gotchickens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2012 at 11:13pm
Do you currently have chickens? At the moment none but we have a few on order. 
How many? We have 4 show quality chicks ordered.
What kinds?
3- Wheaten Ameracaunas & 1-Blue Orpington
How long have you had them? N/A
Plans for any more? Won't know until they get older and we see what they are like.
Would you get those breeds again? See above answer
What kind of coop do you have? I have had lots of different types of coops in the past and have decided to try a movable coop this time. I am hoping then they won't tear up the lawn to bad and maybe they will keep the bugs down. 
What does it look like? (Pics are always fun!) Well ours is not built yet but this is what I want it to be like when we finish it. http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/our-coop-adventure
The coop will be inside of a dog run that we will move somehow around the yard. Still working out the detail of that. :)

Why did you get them and how do they fit into your lifestyle (not sure how to word it - do you have a small farm/homestead already established, are you working towards that and chickens are the starting point, were they just for a fun hobby, etc.)? I have had chickens since I was 16 and have always loved them. I showed quite a bit with them in 4H and sanctioned poultry shows. Since my "chicken killing"
dog has passed on it is time to get some more. I would like my boys to grow up around them and if they so choose we may get back into the show world.
Sarah ~:>



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Post Options Post Options   Quote jessmomto2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2012 at 12:20pm
Do you currently have chickens?  yes

How many?   12

What kinds?   7 Golden Comet hens, 1 Ameraucana hen, 2 Ameraucana roosters, 2 Silkie roosters

How long have you had them?   1 year

Plans for any more?   Oh, yeah!  22 more coming this year (plus the 10 duckies too)  The batch coming in late April are 4 Ameraucana, 4 Barred Rocks, 4 Rhode Island Reds, 4 Buff Orpingtons, and 1 mystery chicks.  The batch coming in late July are 4 Buff Brahmas and 1 mystery chick.  All were ordered hens and hopefully they end up being accurately sexed.

Would you get those breeds again?   I'm totally sold on the Ameraucanas.  The jury is still out on the Golden Comets.  The issues i was having with them are resolving with a change in feed and some Vit. A supplements.  Roosters in general however i'm totally over and our population will be getting thinned soon.

What kind of coop do you have?   homemade coop that DH and I put together.  Coop is 8'x8' with a 12'x12' attached and roofed run area.

What does it look like? (Pics are always fun!)   my pics are in the chicken/duck coop progress thread

Why did you get them and how do they fit into your lifestyle (not sure how to word it - do you have a small farm/homestead already established, are you working towards that and chickens are the starting point, were they just for a fun hobby, etc.)?   I originally got them simply because i love chickens and had been without a flock for several years.  I was also tired of paying what stores ask for organic eggs (i don't buy factory eggs).  We've been wanting to get our "farm" back into a working farm and the chickens have been a good gateway into that.  From here we're hoping to get to the point where half our yearly income comes from our farm within the next 2-3 years hopefully.



Edited by jessmomto2 - 07 Mar 2012 at 12:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jessmomto2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 1:59pm
I wasn't sure which thread to put this in but since Renee was hoping to condense things i thought i'd put this here.
 
We have come up with an idea for keeping the duck pen from becoming a muddy mess.  We're going to put a base layer of sand, then the 1 foot square patio blocks down, and then put the water dishes and kiddie pool on top of the blocks.  I kept seeing in books how people were keeping their ducks on concrete to prevent a muddy pen, but that's expensive and hard on their feet.  But with the patio blocks it'll be cheaper, faster, and we can just put them where the wet spots will be and leave the rest natural ground for their feet.  The sand will also allow the wetness to disipate rather than sit and muck up the ground.
 
We're also going to see if we can barter for a load of sand.  Once the grass is killed off from their antics we can fill the run with sand and that will make mucking the run much easier and keep the pen much drier and healthier.
Jess

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Post Options Post Options   Quote erinchelsea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 2:16pm
That sounds great, Jess! I've been thinking of putting sand in our run as well, but I think we are going to try to get some ground cover growing in there. We have enough space to rotate it so everything doesn't get trampled and eaten right away, I think. I'm anxious to see how you like your ducks!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jessmomto2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 2:55pm
I wish we could rotate them but we don't have that much room, especially sharing the yard with 2 other chicken coops and runs.  They'll be getting a nice sized run and i'll just have to muck it out regularly.  DH is also going to run drainage tile around it.  He did that around my current chicken run and it makes a huge difference when it rains.
 
We do have a small pond in the edge of the horse pasture and we're going to see if we can find a way to make a fully enclosed path to it and then fully fence it in.  Then a few times a week they could putter in there for something else to do.  But i'm not sure if we can actually pull it off or not yet and it might not even be a project we can undertake this year but it is on my wishlist for things to do around here. 
Jess

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Post Options Post Options   Quote erinchelsea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 4:07pm
We desperately need to do drainage tile but DH thinks it will be too much work considering we dont own the place and will hopefully be moving in the next year or two. It would be so nice, though.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jessmomto2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 4:15pm
We have terrible drainage here.  It's all clay and no topsoil.  Each year we expand our drainage tile some more and each following spring our yard is a bit less like a marsh.LOL  It's not really that much work, unless you dig the trench by hand.  If you have a small backhoe or excavator it's pretty quick actually.  DH has an old Dig It and uses that for the trench, then we lay be pipe in the ground and back fill the trench.  The only really laborous part is smoothing it all out and replanting the grass, but that's just like two afternoons worth of work.  Not sure though if you're certain you will be moving if it would be worth it though?  We pretty much had to start doing it.  The horse stall was flooding every spring, my chickens area was standing water, and we had one area in our yard that would get about 6 inches deep when the snow would melt each year.  With the drainage tile put in we were able tohave a campfire a few days ago in the same place that used to be under water. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote erinchelsea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 4:50pm
I'll have to ask DH about it again. I can't remember what he said about it.
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